Ireland will generate over 81,000 tonnes of packaging waste over Christmas

Ireland Will Generate Over 81,000 Tonnes Of Packaging Waste Over Christmas
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James Cox

Ireland is expected to generate over 81,000 tonnes of packaging waste during Christmas, a seven per cent increase on 2019.

New research by environmental not-for-profit organisation Repak reveals that a third (33 per cent) of shoppers planned to spend more on Christmas presents, even though 34 per cent won’t get the opportunity to give gifts to loved ones in person.


The Repak survey of 2,600 people in Ireland, which examines how we are spending Christmas 2020, also reveals that many of us will be splashing out more on presents this year, with 16 per cent spending between €500-€750.

Right now, two million more parcels are being posted a week in comparison to this time last year. Given the significant increase, it’s no surprise that according to Repak data, Ireland is expected to generate 81,174 tonnes of packaging waste during Christmas, a seven per cent increase on 2019.


Over Christmas, Repak is encouraging the public to learn to recycle better at home, ensuring that Ireland reaches its future recycling targets under the EU’s Circular Economy Package.

Repak’s Team Green initiative provides recycling tips, helping people to become familiar with what items can and cannot go into the recycling bin and placing all recyclable items into a recycling bin clean, dry and loose.


According to the survey, the most common ways that our festive celebrations differ to other years are:

  • Not seeing friends (62 per cent).
  • Not visiting extended family (47 per cent).
  • Not giving presents to loved ones in person (34 per cent).

This Christmas, 27 per cent of those polled bought all their presents online. In 2020, packaging waste from online retailers increased by a staggering 15 million standard sized parcels and most of this waste will be generated in the coming weeks.

With 84 per cent shopping online more since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the packaging waste generated from online sales will create a heavy influx of materials for waste operators to process during Christmas.

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